Screenshot from NY Times website

New Book Alert:

“Books on a Ramone, the Algonquin Set and Weegee’s New York”

“Rock, Wit and Grit”

“The New York world of Weegee — the pseudonym of Usher Fellig, “the documentarian of urban calamity” — was a far cry from the gentility of the Algonquin or the future gentrification of the photographer’s stamping ground. Drawing largely on the International Center of [Weegee’s] collection, Philomena Mariani and Christopher George have compiled “The Weegee Guide to New York” (DelMonico Books), a gritty reminder of street life in the ’30s and ’40s.
They write that Weegee captured the city’s “inhabitants navigating through street chaos without the protective shield of mobile devices and earphones.”

From the NYC NY Times Bookshelf

NY Times, 02/08/2015

Coney Island, Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008, “Edited by Robin Jaffee Frank; With contributions by Charles Denson, Josh Glick, John F. Kasson, and Charles Musser,” 2015

Image and quotes from the Yale U. Press website.

“This dazzling catalogue highlights more than 200 images from Coney Island’s history, including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, posters, film stills, architectural artifacts, and carousel animals. An extraordinary array of artists is represented…” including Weegee and Weegee and Weegee.

We haven’t gotten our greasy, hypo-stained paws on this book yet, but if you judge a book by its cover, this book is a good one…





Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists, Centre Pompidou-Metz and Flammarion, 2014

Images are from the book Paparazzi! Photographers, Stars and Artists, a catalogue for the exhibition (February 26 to June 9, 2014) at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, published by Centre Pompidou-Metz and Flammarion.

“Centre Pompidou-Metz dedicates an unprecedented exhibition to the phenomenon and aesthetic of paparazzi photography through more than 600 works (photography, painting, video, sculpture, installation, etc.).
Covering fifty years of celebrities caught in the lens, Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists considers the paparazzo at work by examining the complex and fascinating ties that form between photographer and photographed, going on to reveal the paparazzi influence on fashion photography.
By associating some of the genre’s leading names, including Ron Galella, Pascal Rostain and Bruno Mouron, Tazio Secchiaroli, with reflections on this modern-day myth by Richard Avedon, Raymond Depardon, William Klein, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol, Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists sets out to define the paparazzi aesthetic.”
From the Centre Pompidou-Metz website

Weegee was obviously not a Paparazzi, if the definition of Paparazzi is: “a freelance photographer who pursues celebrities to get photographs of them.” And Paparazzi is “mid 20th century: from Italian, from the name of a character in Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita (1960).” (Google definition)
There are obvious similarities between Weegee’s photos of alleged criminals hiding their faces and photos of contemporary celebrities hiding their faces. Early in Weegee’s career he used a few Paparazzi-like tricks to photograph a few alleged criminals… With one or two exceptions, like kissing Dorothy Hart, Weegee was pretty tame towards celebrities. Weegee made caricatures of celebrities, he didn’t doggedly pursue them in real life…

“Seated in the chair was the handcuffed burglar. The minute he saw me, he covered up. Out of the side of his mouth, he said. “I don’t want my picture took!” (Such grammar!) But this guy was a hardened criminal and knew his rights. The cops couldn’t force him to pose for me. I put my camera down on a nearby desk, and said to no one in particular, “I’m going out to get a cup of coffee and a pastrami sandwich.” As I reached the door, I looked back. The guy was uncovered. The flash bulb went off when I pressed the remote control switch in my pocket, and I had my picture. When criminals tried to cover their faces it was a challenge to me. I litereally uncovered not only their faces but their black souls as well.”
Weegee by Weegee, p. 69

“I went into the basement where they were holding the girl [who was arrested for robbery]. As soon as she saw me, she covered up. “I just want to talk to you, lady,” I said. “I won’t take you picture unless I get permission.”
We talked. She wanted to know why she should let me take her picture so her friends could see her on the front pages of the papers. She was no dope, even if she had been caught. I argued with her: “Why don’t you let me take your picture? I’ll make you so glamorous, it’ll land you on the society page. You’ll get a lot of sympathy. Or, would you prefer that I get a rogues’ gallery picture from the cops with a number under it?” That was a lot of hooey, but I finally convinced her that it was the lesser of two evils to pose for me. This being a quiet Sunday night with the papers starved for pictures, I knew that I had a ready sale.”
Weegee by Weegee, pp. 69-70

“Naked City” (screen shot from the Internet)

“To You
The People of New York
Mark Sherwin
my favorite picture
Editor who always
forgets to put this
‘Credit Photo by Weegee The Famous’
under my pictures,
& thereby(?) tortures my soul!
Weegee July 1945”